Inspection Services Blog

Conserving Natural Resources: Nitrogen and Irrigation Initiative offers farmer support in seven county offices

Field training in the Nitrogen and Irrigation Initiative to help farmers implement the most efficient fertilizer and irrigation practices includes recently visiting a Fresno County farm to learn about variable frequency drives for irrigation pumps.

As part of the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s work to support efforts that improve agriculture’s effect on the environment and encourage wise stewardship of water and natural resources, CDFA announces that work is progressing in the Nitrogen and Irrigation Initiative (NII).

A three-year, collaborative effort between CDFA’s Fertilizer Research and Education Program, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) and UC Davis, NII is funding research associates in seven UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) county offices. Through educational materials, on-farm trials, training events and grower consultations, NII’s objective is to assist farms of all sizes in establishing the best nutrient management and irrigation practices that produce the most fruits, nuts or vegetables without overuse of fertilizer or water.

In the first quarter of 2023, significant NII milestones included:

  • NII held its first Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting. The group consists of representatives from grower wa­ter quality coalitions, commodity organizations, resource conser­vation districts, Certified Crop Advisors, environmental organizations and agencies. The purpose of the group is to enhance communication be­tween NII partners and organi­zations that represent and work directly with farmers, and to receive feedback and recommen­dations on initiative activities.
  • NII held a field staff training in conjunction with the UCCE Climate Smart Agriculture and Small Farms Community Edu­cation Specialist programs. Staff visited two Fresno County Asian vegetable operations to learn about their irrigation systems and irrigation pump testing proce­dures, and toured the UC Ke­arney Research and Extension Center research fields.

For more information, click here to visit the UCANR Nitrogen and Irrigation Initiative webpage.

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